All In: Playing the Fool (Gambling With Love)





Playing the Fool

By Lane Hart



This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue were created from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual people or events is coincidental.


The author acknowledges the copyrighted and trademarked status of various products within this work of fiction.


© 2015 Editor's Choice Publishing


All Rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator” at the address below.


Editor’s Choice Publishing

P.O. Box 10024

Greensboro, NC 27404



Cover by vocaldesign


Photo ©









Wise men say only fools rush in,

but I can't help falling in love with you.

Chapter One


Will Reavis


I still couldn't believe my little sister was married, and not just to anyone. No, Jules's new husband was Dylan, my best friend of fourteen years, the rich bastard.  Ever since I'd lost my wingman a few months ago I hadn’t gone out much. But tonight, I was way past desperate.  

While Jules and Dylan were off on their honeymoon in Hawaii, Dylan left the care of their apartment and his vehicles to me. It was sort of an old school dowry. I gave him permission to marry my sister, and he let me live his filthy rich life for a week, including driving his million dollar Porsche and hundred thousand dollar motorcycle. Well…I had permission after I had several hours of driving lessons with him, on both. Unlike Dylan before he hooked up with my sister, I had no qualms about picking up gold diggers, maybe because I wasn't really rich.

So tonight, my last of living someone else's life, Joe Montgomery (my new wingman) and I had decided to head out to the clubs downtown in Dylan's Porsche. Joe was a local criminal defense attorney, and through my referral had hired my good friend Jess as his legal assistant about two years ago.    

"Damn, this car is hotter than fuck," Joe said, rubbing his fingertips along the dash and around the buttons and gadgets that took up the entire center console. Even after riding in it with Dylan several times, and enrolling in his private driving school, I still didn't know half of the things this bad ass car was capable of.

"Come on, let me drive it. Just once around the block," Joe pleaded.               

"Hell no," I laughed. "I don't trust myself driving it."

"Asshole," he grumbled.  

I found a great parking spot right out in front of a club called
perfect for displaying our ridiculously expensive ride. Easing the car carefully against the curb, I noticed that heads were already turning in our direction. 

"I don’t understand why Dylan hated flashing his fancy shit around when he was single," I said to Joe, when we climbed out of the car.

"I take it you haven't dated many gold diggers?" Joe asked as we approached the line waiting to get into the club.

"Right, my IT salary draws them in all the time," I said sarcastically with an eye roll. I was a smart guy and made decent money with my associates degree, but I'd never be rich.

"Well, take it from me, they suck. Women mistakenly think I'm rich because I'm an attorney. When they find out I live modestly because I'm still paying off student loans, suddenly they're no longer interested."

"Do they at least fuck you a few times first?" I asked.

"Oh yeah," he said with a shit-eating grin.

"Then shut the hell up," I snapped, making him laugh.

We finally made it inside the club and headed straight for the bar. I walked over with Joe, at least. I couldn't drink. That was one of the non-negotiable rules for driving Dylan's car. I wasn't dumb enough to take a chance that I'd be okay after a beer or two…not in a car that cost more than I'd probably make in my lifetime. Hell no. Besides, getting wasted is not what tonight was about.

Tonight was about finding a woman to hopefully get hot and sweaty with later, even if it was only for one night. Did I want more? Of course, but I wasn't ready to get hitched just because all of my friends thought it was a good idea. Tonight I wanted to find a beautiful woman to get lost in for a few hours, even if I had to play up the lie that I was a rich bastard. And looking around, well, there were a ton of beautiful women in this place. It was May, college was out for the summer, and the temperature here in the south was way up. That meant that all the skirts and dresses were short as hell, and some, God bless them, were bordering on indecent.

Spinning my barstool around, I started searching for a girl that hopefully wouldn't tell me to go fuck myself. Other than my pretend high roller status, I didn't have much going for me. I was of average build, if not slightly short for a man, with plain brown hair. My green eyes were nothing special, and they were hard to see behind my glasses. I was lean, but not cut with muscles since I hated the gym.

My entire life I'd been surrounded by friends who I could never compete with when it came to picking up women. Tyler and Caleb were huge, alpha males. The two of them could snap their fingers and beautiful girls would appear as if by magic, ready to screw their brains out. Well, that is up until they both fell in love with strippers and married them. 

Then there was my best friend Dylan, who even without his bank rolls, could've gotten women with his looks alone. Well, that is if he wasn't more of the strong and silent type…and if he hadn't fallen hard for my sister early on.

Coming in fourth place out of four contestants time after time was a pain in the ass. Now they were all married and if it came down to it, I was willing to pretend to be a rich prick to pick up a woman. It was an all-new low for me, but for once I wanted some excitement in my everyday boring, average life.

I tried to let go of all the shit running through my mind, to just sit back and relax. I was by God going to have a good time tonight if it killed me. This was my last night living the life of luxury. Jules and Dylan would be flying back from Hawaii tomorrow, and then I'd have to head back to my plain, lonely apartment.             

My eyes skimmed over to the dance floor, and I quickly became distracted from my thoughts. It was easy to do, watching the groups of women shaking their asses to the loud beat of the music. Too bad I couldn't dance worth a shit, or I'd be all up on some of them trying my luck. Especially one gorgeous blonde. In the massive sea of scantily clad, beautiful people, she stood out, lit up by what appeared to be some sort of ethereal light shining down from the heavens.

"Fuck me," I murmured as I watched her slim hips move. A halo of long, wavy strawberry blonde hair streamed down over her perfect perky breasts. They were bulging teasingly from the top of a blue, low-cut strapless dress. Her arms were thrown above her head, moving rhythmically like she was lost in the song, while her tan, mile long legs hung out the bottom of her tiny outfit. The girl was begging for men to hit on her, yet not a single one ventured within a five foot radius of her. It had to be because she looked
damn perfect. Glancing around at the hordes of men sitting on the sidelines like me, it was evident that plenty of them were also watching her. They all had to be thinking the same thing I was - she was too fucking beautiful, and so far out of my league that we weren't even playing the same damn sport.

"Oh shit," Joe muttered, distracting me from the blonde angel. "My arch nemesis is here. I swear that woman loves cutting off my balls in front of my clients."

I followed his line of sight and knew right away which woman he was referring to. It had to be the petite one standing off to the side, looking all uptight and proper, and completely out of her element. Her fiery red hair also made her stand out in a crowd. "She is damn hot though," I told him.  

"Why do you think I put up with her shit?" he laughed. "She's the sex crimes prosecutor, and lives for screwing defendants over until they never see the light of day again."

"Those bastards probably all get what they deserve," I replied, thinking about what my friend Jess and her brother had been through with their father.

Joe sighed heavily. "Yeah, pretty much. Oh shit! She's heading this way," he said in a panic, sounding more like a thirteen-year-old boy than a grown ass, almost thirty-year-old man.

I looked over and watched as he nervously reached up to try and quickly arrange every one of the shaggy jet black hair's on his head. Dressed in his usual crisp, gray work suit, he couldn't take his wide blue eyes off the approaching woman. The man had it bad.

"You want her," I laughed.

"Shut up," he said through clenched teeth under his breath.

Joe Cool?
" the pretty little redhead laughed acerbically with her approach. "What are you doing here? Scouting for DWI clients?"

"Katie," Joe responded, his expression and tone now bland, giving nothing away. "Let me guess. You're here scouting for more balls to bust?" Joe sounded like a complete ass, probably just trying to cover up how bad he wanted her.

"No, I'm extremely gentle with every other man's balls. Yours are the only ones I enjoy busting," she said with a smirk. I couldn't contain my laugh. "And it's not my fault if you make it so damn easy, you cocky bastard."

I about fell off the stool laughing as the beautiful, sassy woman sauntered off. Joe looked shocked and speechless rather than his usual overly-confident, jackass self.

"That…bitch," he said softly, and without feeling.

"You've got it bad for your arch nemesis, and she obviously loathes you. That's hilarious."

"Whatever," he said standing up from his stool with his beer in hand. "I'm heading to the VIP section. You coming?"

"Hell yes!"

I don't know if it was his suit or what, but Joe somehow got us into the roped off area. We'd only been sitting at our table for a few minutes when the beautiful blonde I'd been drooling over earlier appeared. She sat down at one of the empty booths a little further down from ours, drinking a glass of some bright red, fruity looking cocktail. Surprisingly, she was all alone and looking sort of sad. Hell, it was now or never if I wanted to take a shot in the dark, so I stood up to head over, leaving Joe sulking.

After I'd almost reached her table I realized I didn't know what the fuck I was going to say. "
Can I buy you a drink
?" was too cheesy, and she already had one. "
What's a beautiful woman like yourself doing sitting alone
?" sounded ridiculous coming from me, since I was anything but smooth. I couldn't ask her to dance since I had two left feet and danced like the rhythmic challenged white boy that I was. I wanted to say something that would flatter her and cheer her up.

A stupid idea finally popped into my head. I was going all in, and either it'd work or I'd make a complete fool of myself and go home alone. After seeing her, no other woman in this place would do tonight. I'd rather talk to her and leave in defeat than fuck all the other women in the building.

Reaching into the pocket of my khakis, I pulled my cell phone out and flipped it to the camera application.

"Excuse me, but do you mind if I take your picture?" I asked her over the thumping club beat, causing her blonde eyebrows to shoot up in surprise. She was even more stunning up close.

"What? Why?" she asked, her frown deepening.

"So that I can have proof that the woman of my dreams actually exists."

A smile finally stretched across her gorgeous face when she gave a soft laugh. It was one of the sweetest damned sounds I'd ever heard.

I tapped the screen on my phone to quickly capture the moment, and then turned it around, holding it out to show her. "You're even more beautiful when you smile."

are adorable," she said, still flashing her perfect smile. I thought I was going to pass the fuck out when she didn't instantly dismiss me.    

"So, can I keep your picture or are you going to make me delete it?" I asked seriously.

She tilted her blonde head to the side and thought about it. Strumming her perfectly manicured nails on the tiny table in front of her, she continued appraising me from head to toe for a few more seconds before she responded. "I guess you can keep it."

"Thanks," I said, and then there was nothing but silence between the two of us while the music of the club blared on. I glanced back over to where Joe was still sitting. It looked like he was arguing with himself, so I'd better get back. Besides, I wasn't going to embarrass myself further by begging the woman to talk to me.

"So that's it?" the gorgeous woman asked.

"Ah, what?" I asked looking back down at her. She was so stunning every thought in my head suddenly scattered.

"I saw you staring at me while I was dancing, and then you waltz over here hitting me with the sweetest pickup line I've ever heard, and that's it?"

I couldn't help my grin after she called me out, and I felt my cheeks warm. "Pretty much," I admitted, rubbing a hand over the back of my burning neck as I thought it over. Nope, couldn't come up with a damn thing.

"I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed," she said with a sigh, re-crossing her long perfect legs in front of her.

"Well, I can't just leave you sitting here all alone and disappointed. You want to join me and my friend? He's the one at the moment going all schizoid over there," I nodded toward Joe. "But I swear he's harmless."

"Sure," she said right away, shocking the shit out of me. "The friends I came with both bailed on me for guys. I've only been back in town for two damn days and they just picked men they don't know over me."

"That's a shame," I told her, silently grateful to her shitty friends. Abandoning her fruity drink, she stood up, putting her incredible body so close to mine that I could smell the sweet scent of cherries on her. And fuck if I wouldn't give anything to taste some of her pie. The thought made me blush even harder.

In her tall, fuck-me heels she was only a few inches shorter than me. I tried not to look down, I really did. It was impossible for my eyes to resist the gravitational pull given off by the line of skin showing between her two perky breasts.

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